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Those of you who followed The Action Network during the heart of the NFL season—even just on social media—undoubtedly recall our popular #FadeRovell promotion, when bettors could wager against the Action Network's Darren Rovell and win money while he’d suffer a back waxing or Andy Roddick firing tennis balls at him from close range.
Well, after three rounds of The American Express golf tournament, you have a chance to—in a way—#FadeSobel. (Without the hilarious aftereffects, of course.)
Scottie Scheffler and Andrew Landry share of a four-stroke lead over Rickie Fowler heading into Sunday's final round. While I wouldn’t call anything short of the Henrik Stenson-Phil Mickelson duel at Royal Troon in 2016 a two-horse race, it would be at least a little surprising if both players coughed up a four-shot advantage.
So, where does the #FadeSobel part of this come into play? Glad you asked.
My pre-tournament pick to win this event was none other than Scheffler. I had a good feeling about the kid and, so far, it’s been a fun ride. If you were with me from the start, let’s all watch this thing with fingers crossed on Sunday. If you weren’t, there’s still time—and still room on the bandwagon—as Scheffler remains “only” +110 to win the title at FanDuel.
Of course, should you choose to fade my guy—and yes, I’ll consider all hedging a fade in this instance—you’re likely seeing value in the other co-leader. If that’s the case, I won’t talk you off backing Landry at +200, but I will offer this warning: He’s fresh off missed cuts in each of his last five starts. It’s very rare for a player to go from 0-to-trophy, skipping the whole part about building momentum and confidence.
While I won’t be buying any more shares of Scheffler, I’m already pot-committed. Come jump on the bandwagon, or keep fading at your own risk.
Let’s get to my five favorite plays for the final round, as groups will play in threesomes for the second straight Sunday.
Denny McCarthy (+125) over Chesson Hadley and Grayson Murray — Murray started off the week as the hottest player in the field and Hadley has also enjoyed a hot streak, but McCarthy is a more consistent player and has shown a propensity for playing his best golf in closing rounds. In seven Sunday performances this season, he owns a scoring average of 67.71, good for 22nd on the PGA Tour.
Sebastian Munoz (+135) over Brian Harman and David Hearn — In my Round 3 preview, I listed my favorite head-to-head play as Munoz over J.T. Poston—and while it was a hard-fought battle, Munoz cashed by a stroke. He’s swinging it really well right now, so I’m sticking with him in this one.
Brendan Steele (+135) over Bud Cauley and Adam Schenk — Following last week’s playoff loss, Steele has a little unfinished business left for a Sunday afternoon. While he (probably) won’t win this one, he’s essentially playing with house money after banking that second-place check. I could see him posting another low one on the Stadium Course.
Harris English (+135) over Max Homa and Nick Watney — How hot was this trio on Saturday? In a total of 54 holes, they combined to shoot 24-under. We all know it’s difficult to back up one extremely low round with another, so we shouldn’t expect anything close to that on Sunday, but I liked English pre-tournament for a top-five and thinks he has the best chance to go relatively low and claim it.
Hank Lebioda (+450) over Paul Casey and Tony Finau — We're not targeting any big underdogs with our first four picks, but it's time to change that. I can’t say I definitively like Lebioda more than either of his two more established playing partners, but I also don’t hate his chances. He’s worth a punt with that big plus-money number. (Bonus bet: Either way, I have a feeling you’ll see Finau’s name very prominently displayed amongst my Farmers Insurance Open picks next week.)